Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy spoke with the media and, among other things, admitted that with the unusual offseason Nick Foles is at a disadvantage in his battle with Mitch Trubisky for the starting quarterback job.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy spoke with the media to update them on all that’s happening with the team. Of course, the most important issue has to be the quarterback competition between incumbent Mitchell Trubisky and newcomer Nick Foles.
With everything going on with the COVID-19 virus, things have been strange this offseason. There was a virtual draft with everyone participating from their homes. A number of free agents are still free agents because teams haven’t been able to see their medical records. Additionally, there are a number of players who won’t play even though they are completely healthy (and most of us are good with that).
The pandemic is also having an effect on the quarterback battle. The Bears traded for Foles shortly after the 2020 year officially began. They wanted Foles to push the struggling Trubisky. Some felt that Foles could even unseat Trubisky as the starting quarterback.
While all that might still be true, it’ll be a little more difficult for Foles to do all of that. He hasn’t been able to go to the Chicago area and find a home and be close to Halas Hall like Trubisky. Because of that, Trubisky has called up his receivers to work out with him. He even met with some of the newest ones like tight end Demetrius Harris and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. so he could throw to them.
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That is a big advantage. Being new, Foles has to learn how the receivers run their routes and where they like to get the ball. There is a rapport that he needs to have so he can get them the ball during a game.
Nagy spoke about that to reporters.
I think for sure it’s an absolute more of a disadvantage not having what he could’ve had, building the relationship and more specifically the timing with the wide receivers that you get in the OTAs, where you can route after route after route after route. You get to see and feel how guys time up their motions. For sure that would be a disadvantage. It’s something that he could’ve had that doesn’t have.
Foles does have something going for him
There is, however, an advantage that Foles does have over Trubisky. It seems like this coaching staff was made for him. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, and Nagy all worked with Foles during their time with the Philadelphia Eagles (Nagy also worked with Foles with the Kansas City Chiefs as well). He knows Nagy’s system and ran it successfully all the way to Super Bowl LII, beating the New England Patriots on his way to winning the Super Bowl MVP.
Trubisky still doesn’t have a full grasp of this offense. He sometimes looked like a deer caught in the headlights while trying to find an open receiver. The offensive line was bad, yes, but there were times when he just held the ball too long. There were other times when he stared down his target and defenses jumped on his throws. With Foles’ grasp of the offense, he makes quick decisions and gets rid of the ball quickly, thus helping cut down the sacks.
Battle won’t end at training camp
There was one interesting point that Nagy made. He said the competition would be a “seasonal process”, meaning the battle doesn’t end at who’s under center in Week 1. That means even with Trubisky under center to start the season, he likely has a short leash. Some of the continuous mistakes he made last season won’t be tolerated this season. Nagy knows what he has in Foles and won’t hesitate to pull the trigger and bench him.
Shoot, Nagy already did that in 2019 when he benched him late in the Bears’ game against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11. This time, however, the Bears won’t have to come up with an injury excuse.
While there is a good chance that Trubisky starts Week 1, the interesting thing to see is if he starts every game or how long it takes before Foles takes over.